Lemon Cake (Swedish Visiting Cake)

image of Swedish Lemon Cake

Not too long ago, the Tuesdays with Dorie group chose to make the Swedish Visiting Cake. As always happens with the TWD group, pictures of the cake popped up all over the Blogsophere.

Although I’ve had Dorie Greenspan’s Baking, from My Home to Yours for quite a while, I just haven’t used it much. I don’t exactly know why – the pictures are luscious and the recipes sound incredible. For whatever reason, I just haven’t.

After seeing all those enticing pictures, when we decided we wanted something yummy over the weekend, the Swedish Visiting Cake came immediately to mind. We weren’t in the mood for nuts, though, so I decided to make a purely lemon version.

Wow! This is an awesome recipe. It is incredibly quick and simple – one bowl, a cup to melt the butter in, a whisk and a spatula are all that is required (well, and a cake pan or skillet, of course). You can throw it together in just a few minutes and then it only takes 25-30 minutes to bake.

The end result is perfect – dense, moist cake, and a crisp sugar crust over a delightful crackling top. This version smells and tastes fresh and lemony. It was wonderful warm right out of the oven, and it was just as good the next day at room temperature. I was sorely tempted to eat this for breakfast, it was so good! Proof positive that sometimes the simplest recipes are the best.

Lemon Cake (Swedish Visiting Cake)


  • 1 cup sugar plus extra for sprinkling
  • Baking spray or butter and flour for the pan
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon baking emulsion or extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter melted and cooled
  • Lemon zest or slices for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with the rack in the center of the oven. Spray 9-inch cast-iron skillet or cake pan with baking spray.
  2. Measure the sugar into a medium bowl, add the zest and rub them together with your fingers, until sugar is moist and aromatic and the zest is well-distributed.
  3. Whisk in the eggs one at a time, then the salt and extracts. Whisk until well blended.
  4. Switch to a rubber spatula and stir in the flour.
  5. Add the melted butter and mix with spatula, just until well-incorporated. Batter should look homogenous and shiny. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle sugar evenly over the top of the cake. If you’re using a cake or pie pan, place the pan on a baking sheet.
  6. Bake the cake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until it is golden and a little crisp on the outside; the inside will remain moist. Remove the pan from the oven and let the cake cool for 5 minutes, then run a thin knife around the sides and bottom of the cake to loosen it. You can serve the cake warm or cooled, directly from the skillet or turned out onto a serving plate.

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